Times are tough these days and people are searching for ways to trim costs and live within their meager means. It’s exceptionally hard for the retired folks who had their financial future invested in the stock market only to watch it tank. Recently, I was working in a condo building known for its wealthy residents. I discovered that 80 percent of the residents were behind on their rent payments. One of the forums that I keep up with had a thread in it written by a lady whose husband brings in a six figure income and yet they are deep in credit card debt. She was asking for advice and help. Needless to say, some of the reply posters were not so kind in their postings. It would seem that these hard times are a burden to people all across the financial spectrum.
There are numerous ways to cut your financial spending. Some ideas are available on the web, talked about on television and discussed in many circles. Everything from cutting your home phone service, checking out videos through the local library, dropping the cable tv service, giving up that daily way overpriced cup of coffee to home renovation instead of buying another or even holding a yard sale to sell off the unwanted storage hog items you’ve clung to for no reward. Each idea has its merit, and if enacted can really save the consumer some money.
One of the ways that I have found to save a nice chunk of money is by meal planning. I was surprised at just how much money I was spending on food items and still having difficulty throwing together a decent meal. Once I sat down and planned out exactly what each meal was going to be and determined what items I needed to buy to make it happen, the food bill took a bit of a nose dive. All it cost me was my time. By shopping the sale fliers of the local grocery stores, I could even save more money by planning my meals around the items on sale. Do not let your pride stand in the way of taking part in some of food banks and food distribution organizations in your area. They are a great source of help when times are tough.
Even though I am not a financial advisor, I encourage people that I come into contact with to give a portion of their income to charity. Although this doesn’t make any sense to most people, I can guarantee you that there will be rewards for your giving. They may not be financial rewards but benefits come with many different “faces”.
Things are nowhere near as bad as the Great Depression days but certainly we could take a page from the book of those who survived it. Indeed, we have so much to be thankful for. We are a nation of great wealth and during this season of giving thanks, I challenge you to reflect on those people and things for which you are most grateful for.